Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)



First Advisor

Dr. Andrew Clancy

Second Advisor

Dr. Timothy J. Bartness

Third Advisor

Dr. Laura L. Carruth


Previous investigators demonstrated that epididymal white adipose tissue (EWAT) lipectomy suppressed spermatogenesis and caused atrophy of the seminiferous tubules. EWAT lipectomy, however, may disrupt testicular innervation, which reportedly compromises testicular function. To resolve this confound and better clarify the role of EWAT in spermatogenesis, three experimental groups of hamsters were created in which: i.) the superior and inferior spermatic nerves were transected (SSNx) at the testicular level, ii.) EWAT was extirpated (EWATx), and iii.) testicular nerves and EWAT were left intact (SHAM controls). It was hypothesized that transection of the superior and inferior spermatic nerves would disrupt normal spermatogenesis. The findings indicate a significant reduction in spermatogenic activity and marked seminal tubule atrophy within the EWATx testis, as compared to the SSNx and controls testes, which did not differ significantly from each other. From these data, it is concluded that EWAT, and not testicular innervation, is central to normal spermatogenesis.